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By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

November 16, 2022 | 3 min read

Emily Mortimer stars in the spot, with costume design by Christopher Kane and a soundtrack provided by Simple Minds​.

Whisky brand The Macallan has taken the real-life story of its former managing director Janet Harbinson and turned it into an epic 8-minute short film.

Harbinson, who in 1926 crafted what is now the most valuable bottle of wine or spirit ever (The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926 famously sold for £1.5m at Sotheby’s in 2019), is portrayed by British-American actress Emily Mortimer.

In the spot, we are shown the strength of Harbinson (known as Nettie) after the sudden death of her husband and how she assumed control of The Macallan distillery.

Jaume Ferras, global creative director for The Macallan and a producer on the film, said: “We uncovered Janet Harbinson’s story when researching the background to The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926 and we knew we had to share it as soon as we learned of her role in its distillation and maturation, as well as the deep influence she had on the future development of the brand.“

He continued: “At its heart, this is a love story; it celebrates the love that Nettie had for her husband, her love for the local community, her love for nature and her love for the family business. She cared deeply about others and was determined to use her position at The Macallan to enrich the lives of those around her.“

Renowned Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane created a series of 1920s-inspired outfits for the campaign film, while rock group Simple Minds recorded an exclusive soundtrack.

‘The Spirit of 1926’ will premiere in selected cinemas globally and will be rolled out digitally.

Read our interview with The Macallan's creative director Jaume Ferras about the making of this campaign.

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